British Journal of Ophthalmology, 1992, 76, 183-185

Orbital paraganglioma: case report and review of the literature M M Bednar, T D Trainer, P A Aitken, R Grenko, R Dorwart, J Duckworth, C E Gross, W W Pendlebury

Abstract Paragangliomas ofthe orbit are extremely rare. A case of an orbital paraganglioma, including the first magnetic resonance imaging description of this tumour is described here. The patient underwent surgery with gross total removal of the tumour and relief of his initial chief complaint of visual blurring. The differential diagnosis and therapeutic options for the management of this tumour are discussed.

Paragangliomas are neoplastic growths of the non-chromaffin paraganglionic tissue which may arise in the abdomen, thorax, or head and neck region. Though paragangliomas of the head and neck are not uncommon they are rarely found in the orbit, where the site of origin is thought to be the ciliary nerve.1 Indeed only 27 cases have been reported in the literature. 1-23 The present report gives details of such a case and provides the first compilation of all previously described orbital paragangliomas.

Division of Neurosurgery, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA M M Bednar J Duckworth C E Gross Division of

Ophthalmology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA

Figure 2 Nests of epithelioid cells in 'zellballen' pattern, characteristic ofparaganglioma (haematoxylin and eosin, x400).

Computed tomography (CT) of the orbits revealed a homogeneous mass lesion of 2 cm separate from and superolateral to the optic nerve. Prominent orbital veins were identified

(Fig 1).

The patient underwent a right lateral orbitotomy with visualisation of a firm, well circumCase history scribed mass with an adherent vascular capsule. The patient is a 55-year-old man who presented Frozen section examination suggested the diagto the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont with nosis of a meningioma. Therefore the operation intermittent visual blurring during the preced- was terminated after partial internal debulking ing 6 months. Physical examination revealed of the mass with a plan for postoperative radiaslight hypertropia and exotropia of the right eye. tion therapy.24 Vision was 20/25 OS and 20/20 OD. Pupils were Permanent microscopic sections of the tumour equal and reactive. Spontaneous venous pulsa- revealed nests of polygonal or spindle cells tions were absent on the right and normal venous surrounded by a delicate fibrovascular stroma forming the so-called 'zellballen pattern' (Figs 2 pulsations were present on the left. The visual field on the right showed concentric and 3). The tumour cells were moderate in size constriction of isopters and a small superior and round to polygonal in shape. The nuclei defect at 400 out. Colour vision was noted as 10/ were oval, slightly hyperchromatic, and 14-12/14. A right afferent pupillary defect of pleomorphic. Mitoses were rare. Immunohistoabout 1 2 log units was noted. chemical staining revealed focal positivity of the

P A Aitken

Department of Pathology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA T D Trainer R Grenko W W Pendlebury Department of Radiology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA R Dorwart Correspondence to: C E Gross, MD, Department of Surgery, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05401, USA. Accepted for publication 20June 1991

Figure I Enhanced axial CT scan of the orbit. There is a 1 5 cm x 2-0 cm well defined homogeneously enhancing mass that lies above the optic nerve in the apex of the muscle cone.

Figure 3 Reticulin stain outlining nests of cells in paraganglioma (reticulin, x200).

Bednar, Trainer, Ailken, Grenko, Dorwart, Duckworth, Gross, Pendlebury




ntion of the

tumour mass, in that the salt-andpepper appearance of the matrix is strongly I' ...,. suggestive of the diagnosis of paraganglioma.25 Sr d.r;, Prominent vessels might occur in association with other intraconal orbital masses, especially cavernous haemangioma, although this has not yet been described in reported cases.27-29 Intra'3 'p~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~r orbital meningiomas usually do not have grossly enlarged vessels that can be demonstrated by CT or MRI. Optic nerve glioma would not have a salt j.9 - and pepper matrix or prominent vascularity. Intraorbital metastases are usually not suffici*'.2 i +:ently ~ hypervascular to have grossly enlarged XS V vessels associated with them.30 -*"T While surgery is the treatment of choice for paragangliomas radiation therapy for unresecttumour cells for neuron specific enolase and able or incompletely resectable tumours, chromogranin. Ultrastructural examination unencapsulated tumours, and for recurrence has revealed occasional tumour cell,s containing been generally recommended.3' Tumour regression has been demonstrated using this proscarce to many neurosecretory gran ules (Fig 4). Six months postoperatively, a maignetic reson- cedure'0 though at least one case report failed to ance (MR) scan (Fig 5) of the ri«ght orbit was note any effect of postoperative radiotherapy obtained and demonstrated a 2-0 c-m by 1-8 cm (5000 cGy) on tumour size.2 However there was intraconal mass that displaced th(e optic nerve no discussion regarding the effect of radiation medially and inferiorly. The typic al prominent therapy on the patient's symptomatology. vessels and 'salt-and-pepper' appearance of the In summary this report reviews the pertinent MR image as described for paragPangliomas of literature to date and presents the pathological more typical locations were presentt.25 Because of and radiological appearance of an orbital pararesidual tumour and a recurrence oif his diplopia, ganglioma including the first MR description to the patient underwent a right Ifronto-orbital our knowledge. Although rare in this location a craniotomy as described by Jane et al2" with paraganglioma should be considered in the removal ofthe right orbital apex ma 5SS. Pathology differential diagnosis of a vascular orbital mass. was again consistent with the diaginosis of para- We acknowledge the referral of this patient by Dr Richard L ganglioma. The procedure was tern ninated when Dallow and the illustrations provided by Rolf Sennhenn, COT, CRA. tumour-free margins were obtaineci. V

Figure 4 Dense core granules (arrow) within the cytoplasm oftumour cells (x 11500).

-x:lt,t ** @





Discussion Paraganglioma of the orbit is a rare tumour with 27 such cases reported in the literatture. 1-23 The pathological differential diagnosis of orbital paraganglioma includes meningioma, metastatic adenocarcinoma (especiially renal cell carcinoma) alveolar soft part sarc oma, aveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, and hemangiiopericytoma. Ultrastructural demonstration of n eurosecretory granules in the chief cells of parn aganglioma is diagnostic.

The MR images allowed further characterisa-


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Archer KF, Hurwitz JJ, Balogh JM, Fernandes BJ. Orbital nonchromaffin paraganglioma. A case report and review of lhe literature. Ophthalmology 1989; 96: 1659-66. Ahmed A, Dodge OG, Kirk RS. Chemodectoma of the orbit. 7 Clin Pathol 1969; 22: 584-8. Amemiya T, Kadpya M. Paraganglioma of the orbit. Cancer Res Clin Oncol 1980; 96: 169-79. Benfu W. Orbital chemodectoma: clinical and pathologic analysis of two cases. Clin MedJ 1981; 94: 419-22. Deutsch AR, Duckworth JK. Nonchromaffin paraganglioma of the orbit. AmJ7 Ophthalmol 1969; 68: 659-63. Fisher ER, Hazard JB. Nonchromaffin paraganglioma of the orbit. Cancer 1952; 5: 521-4. Gonsalves CG, Briant TDR. Chemodectomas of the head and neck. Can Assoc Radiol 1979; 30: 109-15. Hughes LW, Ambrose A. Retro-orbital adrenal rest tumor. JAMA 1944; 126: 231-2. Juh3sz J, Nagy F, Selymes Z. Uber das nicht-chromaffine paragangliom der orbita. Ophthalmologica 1962; 144: 10310.

Figure S A, B Axial and coronal MR scans of the orbits demonstrate a well defined tumour mass in the muscle cone, sitting above and lateral to the right optic nerve (A; TR 2500 ms, TE 30 ms). Punctate and serpiginous structures with

flow voids represent prominent arteries and veins associated with the tumour (A). Note also the lateral orbitectomy defect in A and B. Coronal TI-weighted spin echo image (B; TR 600 ms, TE 20 ms) confirms intraconal location of the mass.

Fig SA

Fig SB

Orbital paraganglioma: case report and review ofthe literature 10 Lack EE, Cubilla AL, Woodruff JM, Farr HW. Paragangliomas of the head and neck. Cancer 1977; 39: 397409. 11 Lattes R, McDonald JJ, Sproul E. Non-chromaffin paraganglioma of the carotid body and orbit. Ann Surg 1954; 139: 382-4. 12 Litricin 0. Paragangliome non-chromaffine de l'orbite. Ann Oculist (Paris) 1970; 203: 585-92. 13 Mathur SP. Non-chromaffin paraganglioma of the orbit. Int Surg 1%8; 50: 336-9. 14 Niraukari MS, Greer CH, Chaddah MR. Malignant nonchromaffin paraganglioma in the orbit. Br Ophthalmol 1%3; 47: 357-63. 15 Pautique L, Girard PF, Audibert J. Une tumeur orbitaire exceptionelle: le paragangliome non-chromaffin. Ann Oculist (Paris) 1962; 195: 131-41. 16 Rippey JJ, Rohm GF, van den Heever CM, DeWit LJD. Paraganglioma of the orbit - an exercise in diagnosis. S Aft MedJ 1981; 60: 148-50. 17 Tesinsky P, Kurka R. Maligni achromafinni paraganglion orbity. Cesk Oftalmol 1963; 19: 325-8. 18 Thacker WC, Duckworth JK. Chemodectoma of the orbit. Cancer 1969; 23: 1233-8. 19 Valach V. Die extraadrenalen paragangliome. Zentralbl Allg Patlhol 1957/58; 97: 251-64. 20 Vara Thorbeck R, Morales Valention 01, Morales MR. Nonchromaffin paraganglioma of the orbit. Zentbl Chir 1986; 111:46-9.

21 Venkataramana NK, Sastry Kolluri VR, Raj Kumar DU Vasodev Rao T, Das BS. Paraganglioma of the orbit with

185 extension to the middle cranial fossa: case report. Neurosurgery 1989; 24: 762-4. 22 Wu B. Orbital chemodectoma: clinical and pathologic analysis of two cases. Chin MedJ (Engl) 1981; 94: 419-22. 23 Zhang L, Wang KL, Wu KL. Chemodectoma of the orbit: report of a case. Acta Acad Med Wuhan 1982; 2: 60-2. 24 Smith JL, Vuksanovic MM, Yates BM, Bienfang D. Radiation therapy for primary optic nerve meningiomas. J7 Clin Neuro Ophthalmol 1981; 1: 85-99. 25 Olsen WL, Dillow WP, Kelly W, Norman D, Brant-Zawadzki M, Newton TH. MR imaging of paragangliomas. Am J7 Neuroradiol 1987; 148: 201-4. 26 Jane JA, Park TS, Pobereskin LH, Winn HR, Butler AB. The supraorbital approach: a technical note. Neurosurgery 1982; 11: 537-42. 27 Bilaniuk LT, Atdas.SW, Zimmerman RA. Magnetic resonance imaging ofthe orbit. RadiolClin NorthAm 1987; 25: 509-28. 28 Fries PD, Char DH, Norman D. MR imaging of orbital cavernous hemangioma. Comput Assist Tomogr 1987; 11: 418-21. 29 Mafee MF, Putterman A, Valvassori GE, Campos M, Capek V. Orbital space-occupying lesions: role of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging an analysis of 145 cases. Radiol Clin North Am 1987; 25: 529-59. 30 Peyster RG, Shapiro MD, Haik BG. Orbital metastasis: role of magnetic resonance imaging and computer tomography. Radiol Clin North Am 1987; 25: 647-62. 31 Sonneland RPL, Scheithauer BW, LeChago J, et al. Paraganglioma of the cauda equina region. Cancer 1986; 58: 1720-35.

Orbital paraganglioma: case report and review of the literature.

Paragangliomas of the orbit are extremely rare. A case of an orbital paraganglioma, including the first magnetic resonance imaging description of this...
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